How can institutions streamline the credit-earning process?

Dive Brief:

  • Though excess credits can often be a deliberate move on a student’s part, college administrations still can assist students in avoiding excess credits and streamlining the pathway to graduation, according to Rebecca Torstrick, the associate vice president for Academic Affairs at Indiana University. Torstrick told Education Dive the IU system had established a uniform general education curriculum so students would not fall behind if they transferred to a new campus.
  • Torstrick said accumulating some excess credits is unavoidable, such as when a student fails a class and must retake it. Other students may prefer to withdraw and retake a class rather than receive a lower grade. Torstrick said colleges should assure students that sometimes the lower grade is preferable, as the longer students stay in school the more likely it is that something will cause them to discontinue.
  • Torstrick said the school system was now looking into how to accommodate students who face a situation like an illness that keeps them out of class for several weeks; they do not want that student’s semester to sink, so IU is looking into ways to keep those students engaged, particularly in utilizing online technology or instruction.

Dive Insight:

Many times, students accumulate excess credits because of a change in their major —Torstrick noted 60% of students at Indiana University change their major in the first several years. Many students enter college believing they’re pursuing one path, only to find it does not appeal to them, or they take another class on a whim or as a part of a general education curriculum and find a new path that inspires a choice of major. Torstrick said it is important administrations do not discourage this exploration.

Some initiatives for helping students to right-size their credits included getting freshman students on a track for a certain major field experience earlier in the process; if an education major, for example, is exposed to student teaching in his or her first year and decides teaching isn’t for him or her, the student can avoid going down a path which would hinder the ability to finishing school on time.

Administrations can also assist students who have decided on a major but are still trying to find the most efficient path to fulfill requirements. Torstrick said the university had created degree maps for every available major, with each requirement linked to a list of acceptable courses. Making such tools accessible for students lessens the possibility that they could be led astray by a mistaken choice or bad advice. Such tools can also help administrations preemptively understand if they will have more demand than they can currently accept for certain classes. Advisers can also work with students by narrowing down the potential career paths they may pursue after college, if they feel more passionate or certain about that then a choice in major. Advisers can then work with students to discern the majors that work for those careers.

“I think most colleges and universities have been working on this sort of specialized advisement components,” Torstrick said.

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On August 20th, which people in global education all focus on …

NEW YORK, Aug. 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The fifth 820 China Education Festival will be held on the 20th-22nd of August in 2017 at Shanghai International Convention Center, which is hosted by Junhsue China and co-organized by Deloitte China and Only Education Group, and undertaken by Shanghai Anser MEDIA Limited Company. In the meantime, almost 5000 educators, experts from diverse backgrounds, social education practitioners, and representatives of educational institutions from China and other countries will attend this conference.

The 820 China Education Festival (820 for short), firstly named for dates, is a large-scale general educational summit forum, which has gathered many elites together in various fields from both domestic and overseas, including capital, academic circles, education, art, politics, business, etc. By organizing many keynote speeches, round tables and discussions around the core concept of education, 820 has accelerated multi-dimensional exchange and collision, and aroused strong repercussions among different social sectors. 820 is no longer just a number, but a symbolic sign for general education.

Since the first 820 China Education Festival was held on August 20th 2013 at Shanghai International Convention Center, it has been successively held four times, with the theme of “quality education, scientific and technological education, life education and education+”. 820 has won its reputation both home and abroad and is hailed as the most high-profile annual event in education by the mainstream media.

The declaration of the 5th 820 China Education Festival is “bringing commonweal to life and making commonweal part of life”.  Visitor flow volume is up to 410 thousand. We hope to further improve the spreading and developing of public spirit by using the power of public envoys and promoting the development of commonweal.

The essence of education lies in awakening. Education makes better life, so does commonweal.

The essence of commonweal is to arouse people’s own moral conscience and individual responsibility. It is the original intention of the fifth 820 that is to awaken the devotion to public welfare through education and to let more people be aware of it and promote it and shoulder the responsibility.

The 820 of this year is a pageant in commonweal culture exchange, which will be a party for media and its related association to promote public welfare. Besides main forums, there are also many different kinds of sub-sessions in the forms of panel discussions, seminars, World Café, and so on.

The three-day summit meeting will provide full-spectrum coverage with tracking and reporting by media, broadcast online, interview, real-time interactions on micro blogging, etc.

Today, online education, hi-tech education and intelligent education prevail. Let’s return to the essence of education and reexamine education in a new perspective and a new way. We expect more education practitioners and those who care about education to join this carnival, show their support to China’s non-government education and build a splendid future of Chinese education.

Media Contact:

Contact Person: Tina Dai

Phone: +86 139 1866 8614

NC attorney general delivers death blow to embattled for-profit law school


(iStock)

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein on Tuesday informed the U.S. Education Department that Charlotte School of Law is no longer licensed to operate in the state and must close or face legal action.

The announcement arrives nearly a year after the department barred the for-profit college from receiving federal loans and grants for misleading students about their chances of passing the bar and its shaky accreditation with the American Bar Association.

Since then, the school has fought to keep its doors open through negotiations with the department. Things were looking up after the Trump administration said earlier this year that it would restore the law school’s access to federal student aid with conditions, but Education Department spokeswoman Liz Hill said the school is now ineligible without a license.

Charlotte School of Law, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment, can still apply for a new license through the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, the state’s higher-education regulator. The board had voted in June to approve a restricted license that required the school to regain access to federal student aid by Aug. 10. The law school asked for additional time to comply, but the board refused. Once the date passed, the license expired.

“While good lawyers have graduated from Charlotte School of Law, the school too often failed to deliver for its students,” Stein said in an email. “Charlotte School of Law told students they would be ready to practice upon graduation, but fewer than one in five incoming students of the Class of 2016 graduated, passed the bar, and got a job that required the degree for which they spent more than $100,000.”

After an on-site evaluation in 2015, the bar association raised concerns about Charlotte School of Law, a college founded in 2004. Examiners said that the school’s curriculum failed to prepare students to take the bar and that the administration admitted people incapable of completing the program. After months of hearings and requests for more information, the bar last summer said the law school was not living up to the standards necessary for accreditation.

Half of the 354 first-year students at the school dropped out of the program last year, compared with 45 percent the previous year, according to the Education Department. Of the 174 who left, more than 36 percent said it was because of academic attrition, meaning that they were not in good academic standing. The bar association said that of the 208 law schools it accredits, Charlotte School of Law has the highest number of first-year students leaving for academic reasons.

The law school appealed the bar’s decision, but the bar rejected the request and placed the school on probation in November, which ultimately led education officials to deny the school access to federal student aid. The Education Department also took issue with the school for falsely advertising that it was fully accredited, had a rigorous curriculum and that its students had an above-average rate of passing the bar.

Charlotte School of Law is the first law school in recent years to be kicked out of the federal student-aid program. Without access to federal aid, a source of tremendous revenue for colleges and universities, the vast majority of schools shut down.

The impending closure of the law school means that students now enrolled will have the right to forgiveness of their federal student loans. What’s known as closed-school loan forgiveness, however, will negate the credits they earned. Students can still apply to have their federal loans discharged by filing a borrower defense to repayment claim, which wipes away federal education debt in cases of fraud. This option would give students who choose to transfer their credits a path to loan forgiveness, although the bar for approval is set pretty high.

Hill said, “The department is committed to ensuring that students of CSL, who are the ones most impacted by any decision regarding CSL’s status, are protected and treated fairly and are made aware of all of the options available to them.”

She said the department will soon post a fact sheet for law school students on the closed-school page of its website, which contains information about loan discharges and obtaining transcripts. The department also plans to email students to apprise them of their options.

Learn more about for-profit colleges:

DeVry agrees to $100 million settlement with the FTC

Education Department places hefty conditions on University of Phoenix sale

How dozens of failing for-profit schools found an unlikely savior: A debt collector

On August 20th, which people in global education all focus on, China Education Festival will open in Shanghai, China

NEW YORK, Aug. 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The fifth 820 China Education Festival will be held on the 20th-22nd of August in 2017 at Shanghai International Convention Center, which is hosted by Junhsue China and co-organized by Deloitte China and Only Education Group, and undertaken by Shanghai Anser MEDIA Limited Company. In the meantime, almost 5000 educators, experts from diverse backgrounds, social education practitioners, and representatives of educational institutions from China and other countries will attend this conference.

The 820 China Education Festival (820 for short), firstly named for dates, is a large-scale general educational summit forum, which has gathered many elites together in various fields from both domestic and overseas, including capital, academic circles, education, art, politics, business, etc. By organizing many keynote speeches, round tables and discussions around the core concept of education, 820 has accelerated multi-dimensional exchange and collision, and aroused strong repercussions among different social sectors. 820 is no longer just a number, but a symbolic sign for general education.

Since the first 820 China Education Festival was held on August 20th 2013 at Shanghai International Convention Center, it has been successively held four times, with the theme of “quality education, scientific and technological education, life education and education+”. 820 has won its reputation both home and abroad and is hailed as the most high-profile annual event in education by the mainstream media.

The declaration of the 5th 820 China Education Festival is “bringing commonweal to life and making commonweal part of life”.  Visitor flow volume is up to 410 thousand. We hope to further improve the spreading and developing of public spirit by using the power of public envoys and promoting the development of commonweal.

The essence of education lies in awakening. Education makes better life, so does commonweal.

The essence of commonweal is to arouse people’s own moral conscience and individual responsibility. It is the original intention of the fifth 820 that is to awaken the devotion to public welfare through education and to let more people be aware of it and promote it and shoulder the responsibility.

The 820 of this year is a pageant in commonweal culture exchange, which will be a party for media and its related association to promote public welfare. Besides main forums, there are also many different kinds of sub-sessions in the forms of panel discussions, seminars, World Café, and so on.

The three-day summit meeting will provide full-spectrum coverage with tracking and reporting by media, broadcast online, interview, real-time interactions on micro blogging, etc.

Today, online education, hi-tech education and intelligent education prevail. Let’s return to the essence of education and reexamine education in a new perspective and a new way. We expect more education practitioners and those who care about education to join this carnival, show their support to China’s non-government education and build a splendid future of Chinese education.

Media Contact:

Contact Person: Tina Dai

Phone: +86 139 1866 8614

Surprise, Trump’s Education Ideas Are Polarizing

In the last year, there’s been a big drop in support for charter schools, while other forms of school choice are getting a little less unpopular. That’s the top line of a national poll released today.

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President Trump and his education secretary Betsy DeVos have put school choice front and center on their education agenda. The general idea of “choice,” however, takes many forms.

Charter schools are paid for by tax dollars, charge no tuition and are managed independently of public school districts.

Vouchers allow students to use tax dollars to pay tuition at private schools.

Tax-credit scholarships, now available in 17 states, which allow individuals and companies to get a tax credit for donating to scholarship funds that are used in turn for private school tuition.

U.S. opinion on these ideas seems to be shifting, according to a new poll from EducationNext, an opinion and policy journal associated with free-market education reform ideas. They’ve been asking similar questions for the past decade.

Here are the latest results:

  • Charters: Last year 51 percent of the public supported “the formation of charter schools”; this year it’s just 39 percent, a 12 point drop in one year.
  • Vouchers: 45 percent are either strongly or somewhat supportive of universal vouchers. That’s a bounce from last year, but more or less in line with the five years before.
  • Tax credits: This was the most popular form of school choice with 55 percent of the general public supporting this year; also a one-year bounce, but in line with longer-term trends.

There’s no one obvious explanation for the change in opinion on charter schools. The drop was seen among both Democrats and Republicans and amongst all racial and ethnic groups.

“That’s the largest change on any survey item, and one of the largest single-year changes in opinion that we’ve seen over the 11-year history of the survey,” Martin West, the editor in chief of EducationNext, said on a press conference call.

The wording of the question — about the formation of charter schools — may hold a clue. In theory, it might be possible to have very positive feelings about the charter schools currently in your community, yet still oppose new ones.

And the expansion of charters is exactly what communities around the country have been fighting over.

Last year the NAACP and Black Lives Matter called for a moratorium on the growth of charter schools (the NAACP called more recently for a ban on for-profit management of these schools). The state of Massachusetts saw a bruising fight over its charter cap. Detroit’s proliferation of charters has been labeled “a glut” and “chaos.” And charter expansion was the central issue in the school board race in Los Angeles, one of the biggest public school districts in the country.

The nationally representative poll breaks down respondents by political party, and there’s a clear partisan divide on many issues, even as public opinion shifts. Last year, for example, 57 percent of Democrats favored universal vouchers, against 45 percent of Republicans. This year they’ve switched places: 62 percent of Republicans like them and only 50 percent of Democrats agree.

Zeroing in on that political divide, pollsters also measured what they called the “Trump effect.” That is, how do responses change when some people are told that the president supports or opposes a particular issue?

They found that self-identified Republicans are more likely to support an issue if they are informed that Trump also supports it, while Democrats are the opposite. However, Trump’s net influence is nearly nil, which makes him less of a force than President Obama was in this poll in 2009. Back then, when respondents on all sides were told the new President supported an education issue, they were more likely to back it, by double digits.

This poll, then, serves as a snapshot of what some have called the breakdown of a long-standing bipartisan consensus on education that dated back to No Child Left Behind.

Still, there is one enduring issue where blue- and red-state opinions are near-identical: approval of the local public schools. 55 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of Democrats give local schools a B or an A.

Meet special ed head Nikarre Redcoff | Sonoma Index-Tribune … – Sonoma Index

Walking into the Sonoma Valley Unified School District Office right before school starts one expects a level of chaos, especially this year. Many new hires, an interim superintendent, plenty of rumors and lots of changes. But there is none of that; in fact there is the opposite of that.

“Of course we miss (former Superintendent) Louann (Carlomagno) but we have some very strong leadership and we are all unified in our goal. You can feel the cohesion, everyone is poised to move forward,” says Nikarre Redcoff, director of student services. “I’m excited for the school year.”

There are about 660 kids in the district with a special ed classification. Redcoff oversees special education and supports the behavioral and social-emotional programs in the district. She works collaboratively with the district’s new associate superintendent for instructional services, Karen Strong, on implementing a multi-tiered system of support throughout the district.

Redcoff has been a part of the district since 1999 when she started as a full inclusion specialist and behaviorist for the district. Full inclusion refers to students with severe learning disabilities being mainstreamed into general education.

She then spent years at the Sonoma County Office of Education as the SELPA (special education local plan area) program specialist before returning to Sonoma in her current role. It’s a role that tries to balance the needs of the district, of parents, of teachers and ultimately of students.

“As far as I’m concerned, they’re all our children,” she says. “The more we can do to get parents involved, the better. I welcome ideas for improvement.” This is a common sentiment that the system works best when teachers and parents are all participating and working together.

“There is nothing more important than a teacher,” she adds. “All students benefit when we put tools in the hands of teachers, the goal is to get the right tools in their hands. You have to be respectful, loving and optimistic but also garner results.”

She is especially proud of her staff in the special education department. “That team is dedicated, and so strong, and so devoted,” she says.

Redcoff knows there are challenges – changes, fear, economics, equal access, test scores – but she is hopeful. “In addition to being with students, something else that really makes me happy is to see students make progress – academically, socially, behaviorally – to see the teachers’ and specialists’ hard work pay off for the students.”

But there are disappointments. “When a team tries their best, and we still don’t see the progress we’d hoped for,” she says. “Because the work the staff does is really for the kids. This is the most disappointing thing that can happen.”

When asked about her goals for this year, Redcoff becomes even more animated. “I love getting into classrooms and there is some really cool stuff like the Tiers of Interventions and Elementary Jump Into Reading Program,” she says.

“I understand that every parent comes to the table with fear and love but when we work together, problems get solved,” she added.

Walt Williams teaches at Creekside High School and blogs about issues of the day for the Index-Tribune.

UK wins lawsuit to keep sexual harassment documents secret from attorney general

The Kentucky attorney general doesn’t have the authority to confidentially examine documents in open records disputes if they are protected under federal student privacy laws, a Fayette Circuit Judge has ruled.

The ruling is a victory for the University of Kentucky, which would not let Attorney General Andy Beshear review documents in a sexual harassment case to see if they should be released to the independent student newspaper at UK. The Kentucky Kernel had requested the documents under the Kentucky Open Records Act.

Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Travis found that federal student privacy laws take precedence over the attorney general’s role in adjudicating open records disputes.

In this case, the Kernel asked UK for documents pertaining to the sexual harassment of a student by a professor. UK refused, and Beshear’s office requested to see some of the documents “in camera,” or confidentially, to see if they should remain private or be released under the state’s Open Records Act. UK, though, refused to let Beshear’s office see the documents.

The attorney general ruled in favor of the newspaper, prompting UK to sue the Kernel in order to keep the documents secret. A judge ruled in UK’s favor earlier this year, but the question of whether UK was required to submit the documents to Beshear’s office was split off into a separate case.

UK wins lawsuit to keep sex harassment documents secret from attorney general

The Kentucky attorney general doesn’t have the authority to confidentially examine documents in open records disputes if they are protected under federal student privacy laws, a Fayette Circuit Judge has ruled.

The ruling is a victory for the University of Kentucky, which would not let Attorney General Andy Beshear review documents in a sexual harassment case to see if they should be released to the independent student newspaper at UK. The Kentucky Kernel had requested the documents under the Kentucky Open Records Act.

Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Travis found that federal student privacy laws take precedence over the attorney general’s role in adjudicating open records disputes.

In this case, the Kernel asked UK for documents pertaining to the sexual harassment of a student by a professor. UK refused, and Beshear’s office requested to see some of the documents “in camera,” or confidentially, to see if they should remain private or be released under the state’s Open Records Act. UK, though, refused to let Beshear’s office see the documents.

The attorney general ruled in favor of the newspaper, prompting UK to sue the Kernel in order to keep the documents secret. A judge ruled in UK’s favor earlier this year, but the question of whether UK was required to submit the documents to Beshear’s office was split off into a separate case.

2 Vermont state colleges get grant to update curriculum

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Two Vermont state colleges are getting a $225,000 grant to help revamp their curriculum.

The grant from the Davis Educational Foundation from Yarmouth, Maine, will be used over three years to revise the general education curriculum for both Johnson and Lyndon state colleges into a single program.

The two colleges are in the process of merging. Starting next July, Lyndon and Johnson will become Northern Vermont University, although the separate campuses will remain.

The new education program will be launched in the fall of 2018.

Sharon Twigg, the chair of the writing and literature department at Johnson, says the new curriculum will focus more on critical thinking and problem-solving rather than memorization.